Bowing Out

I made it five days into the glorious month of poetry before bowing out (gracefully?). Well, that’s not entirely true — I have still been writing this past week and I have a few poems to show for it, but none that I want to share right now.

NaPoWriMo is just not happening for me this year. Pieces of my mind are scattered in so many different places that I can’t quite gather them together long enough to compose something I like enough. Continue reading

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Let the Children Play

This is something very important to me, though it’s not something I would have thought to write about in this form. It kind of just found its way out of my head and onto my laptop screen while thinking of what to write about in today’s poetry prompt by the folks over at NaPoWriMo. This style is called a lune, which is like a haiku, except that instead of counting the syllables in a line, you count the words. And instead of 5-7-5 (as in a haiku), it’s 3-5-3, i.e.. first line of the stanza has 3 lines, second has 5 lines, third has 3 lines.

So the reason this topic is very important to me is because all too often I see adults around me telling children to be quiet or to not be “so loud” when all they’re doing is playing — loudly. Adults get upset when toys get smashed loudly to the floor or into each other in a fight between the army man and a car (odd fight to have, I know, but hey, it happens). And naturally, there are sound effects that go with that epic fight. But the children are told not to make so much noise; “play quietly”. This upsets me. Deeply. Let the children make a noise! Let the children hum and sing loudly, or mutter nonsense to themselves if they want to! Let them play! For goodness sake! No, literally… for goodness sake. I mean, when children have the freedom to play and have fun and make a noise — and let’s be honest, they all go hand-in-hand, because how much of fun can you have quietly in a corner by yourself, and how much can you play without some sound effects and shrieks of laughter? — they grow into whole people, confident people, positive people, intelligent people, kind people. And isn’t that just good for everyone?

So, let the children play.

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Let the Children Play

by Ruqaiyah Davids

We tell them
They’re naughty when they’re noisy.
Ain’t that crazy?

Children are meant
To be noisy and dirty;
It’s their journey.

We shouldn’t stop
Them from shouting in play;
They’re young today.

Before long though,
Our rules and reprimands will
Make them still.

Children will be
Too scared to have fun—
Damage we’ve done.

They won’t be
Young for much longer, sadly.
This is reality.

When they’re grown,
They’ll be shells because we
Didn’t let’em be.

I cheated a bit on that last line there. I know “let’em” isn’t the conventional way of shortening “them”, but I would have had one word more than I should. So I whipped out that ol’ poetic licence I have stuffed in my wallet and used it.
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Tick Tock

This one isn’t quite finished yet. I’ve been sitting with it since yesterday (which is why I didn’t post anything yesterday), because it wasn’t ‘right’ yet. I don’t yet know what will finish it or how to finish it, but I’ve decided that that’s okay. I’ll share it with you anyway. This is what it is for now.
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Time

by Ruqaiyah Davids

The second hand of an ancient clock;
Listen closely for the far-away knock.
It kills, it steals, and it heals;
The future is what time reveals.
Forever caught in time’s wicked trap;
It is somewhere in the middle that the stream and the storm overlap.
Tick, tick, tock.
Tick, tick, tock.
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Signoff

A Delayed Day Two

It’s day 4 of April, yes, but this was the poem I wrote for Day 2 of NaPoWriMo but just haven’t posted until now.

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Wings

by Ruqaiyah Davids

In the tower of tenderness the wings unfold,
Slowly,
Gently.
Until they’re sure and strong.
They unravel and spread their beauty.
Boldly.
Courageously.
The wind carries them,
To parts unknown.
They travel with faith and with hope.
They soar and glide;
There is no end to what they may find.
They will reach the ends of the earth
With faith and with hope.
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It’s April!

And you know what that means, right?

Time for me to come out of hiatus! Why? Because it’s National Poetry Writing Month!

Yes, I know it’s pretty despicable that I’ve last updated pretty much a year ago (I don’t really suppose that my one lone post last October counts for much). But… uhm… Okay, I have no acceptable excuses. I’m all out. I’m just really terrible at time management. Like, really terrible. And way too easily distracted. Like, while typing this post right now, do you have any idea how many times I’ve navigated away from this window? To Google something that has just popped into my head that I’ve meant to Google for a while now; to talk to my mom; to reply to an e-mail; to drink some water… I’m terrible.

But anyhoo, here’s a poem that will hopefully make you forget all about that! Yay.

Write it out!
Write it out!
The Kind of Lives We’re Living

by Ruqaiyah Davids

What kind of lives are we living?
Weren’t we meant for more?
Our innocence and youth has just gone through the door.
Nothing left for us to fight for anymore.

You had big dreams
Of simple things.
Not important any longer, it seems.

I had visions of happiness;
I saw days of what-seemed-like-bliss.
I never thought it would be like this.

We were meant for more,
We were meant to be better.
You were meant for greatness
And happiness.
We are meant to have goodness.

What kind of lives are we living?
Stuck in the past.

It was not meant to be like this.
It was not meant to be like this.

We’ve got to stop wishing.
And missing.
We’ve got to start living.
And giving
From the deepest parts of ourselves.
Stop grieving for a life lost,
One that was never meant for us.

The kind of life we should be living
Is still waiting.

To be honest, I’m not all too fond of this poem. I don’t hate it, I just feel that it needs (quite a bit of) tweaking. I suppose I’ll get back to that some time, but in the quest of writing a poem a day, I wanted to get this up for Day 1. Day 2 will be up shortly. Yes, yes, I know it’s the 2nd of April already! Hush!

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NaPoWriMo Day 30: Speaking in Opposites

Remember, as a child, when you would play that game where you’d say something cool/weird/funny/scary to your brother/sister/friend, and they would look at you with excitement or awe written all over their face, and you’d wait a bit just for effect and then say, “In the opposites!” and laugh your head off? Remember those days? Or is my childhood the only one which has those moments? Because then this would be a little awkward…

The last prompt of NaPoWriMo requested us to take an original poem written by someone else and to change as many words in the poem as we could to mean the opposite of what it originally says.

I chose As I Grew Older by Langston Hughes.

As I Grew Younger

by Ruqaiyah Davids

It was a short time ago.
I have never remembered my reality.
But it is here now,
Behind me,
Dull like the moon—
My reality.
And then the wall sank,
Sank fast,
Fast,
Around me and my reality.
Sank until it touched the ground—
The wall.
Brightness.
I am white.
I stand up in the brightness.
Still the darkness of my reality behind me,
Below me.
More than the thin wall.
More than the brightness.
My feet!
My light feet!
Mend together the wall!
Lose my reality!
Help me to piece together this light,
To rebuild this day,
To mend this brightness
Into a single light of moon,
Into a single firm reality
Of moon!
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